view raw text
PEDIGREE THREE MILLION YEARS OLD. Development of King Horse Since His Forerunners Were About a Foot High. No king of the realm. M m;ittrr how pwpll be liis royal raiment, nor la lad aajr ether human being, can trace his aaeeatry as fat hark as Unhorse. This :uiilii:il htt the longest pedigree m record; mm ptahahij aver three million years old, dating back to what is known :i- the Batcac age, thaoKaaaa at fears before the coming of man. His gcatalactcal tree is shown in tin- National Jlu-scum :il Washington, whore ;i series if loot and skulls depict some of his more important ancestors. The horse of the Koooiio. or his forebear, rather, •was known as Kohippus. or Dawn Uarae. He was about tin- size of a fox. standing a little more thaa faot hfarh. Eohrpj us Uveal in North America, when- he ran ligiitfootcdly over the Tertiary ro-ks 01. his well -developed four toed front feet and tin-, -toed hind feet. His teeth were not like tho.c of a teaera harae either, hat wire short- clowned. While scientists ale unuhl" to till us .just how long his mane was. if he had any. or the color of his hide, they do know the facts mentioned above, for his fossil remains have been found ill the rock strata known as the LaWCC Koccno. which is supposed to date back about three million years. It is a fortunate thin;. that little ■ohinaaaa experienced tin development that lie did. or 1 alie specialized, as the scientists say. for in his early form such ;:n animal would have been of but little service to us domestically. But such was the ease, lie ilevi lojM d remarkably, and it is claimed -that, while he is not on the same plane with man mentally, of course, he is more highly specialized anatomically. His physinue developed as his needs n-iiuired. He could not fight much, so had to run away; his speed developed until today he is seen to be fleet -footed, strong both for bearing packs and pulling loads, and to this end his size, teetll and ether parts, developed with liis advance down the ages. At this early Bare, when lie was called Kohippus, tie bene was a most insignificant •nature aa compared to his eontemporai i s. the mat halthtl brutes called the liiitatheres ami Corjrphodoata. l.ut strange as it may aeeaa, his posterity has outlived them all— a fine example of the survival of the fittest. The liors- is one of the best -known examples of the survival of prehistoric animals. Proof in the National Museum. An exhibit illust rating the development of the liorse is shown in the Inited States Natimal Museum in the halls of the division of vertebrate pae-lontology. which includes all the fossil animals having backbones. Most of the specimens are complete bones, partly turned to ston: and found imbedded in rock in several localitiis in this country. The earliest known form, the Kohippus. comes first, showing ids four-toed treat feet and liis three-toed hind feet, as well as his teeth and skull of that time. As tin- Beat advanced stage, we find the bones of a somewhat larger animal of the Oligoeene period, known as Mosohippus, comparatively about the size of a sheep, with three toes on all its feet — the one on the front feet Inning proved superfluous, nature saw to it that it disappeared. Its teeth have also advanced a bit. to assist it in feeding, as may lie seen in lie Miocene, a little later parted, when, lived numerous large horses called Meryohippus, Neompparien. Irotohippus. etc. The foot bones of these animals show three toes on each foot, but with the middle toe much larger than its companions, whi!" tie- teeth are seen to Ik- longer and di i -per crowned: in fact, this type bgins to look more like a regular horse. In the next step, the Pliocene, are seen still more specialized forms, Irotohippus and lliohippiis. the latter, and some other specie.-, having but a siagle toe on each foot, which soon levelojM-d a single hoof, their adjacent or i i auxiliary toes having disappeared, and only the I j splints or stumps remain to be seen on the fossil bones, vestiges of which may also be seen in modern horses. He seems to have grown a little larger, also, and more to the shape of the horse we know, i He was still able to feed, in spite of his longer legs, as his neck and jaws have grown in proitor-1 tion and he could travel at a high rate of speed on . hard ground. When He Became a True Horse. True bones occurred in the Pleistocene period, some forms elo-cly resembling the liorse of today. the average of them a little smaller in stature. Madera horses average fourteen hands high, or about four feet eight inches, shewing a wonderful growth or development in height alone. Sufficient finds of petrified skeletons of fossils have been made in this country and Alaska ■• prove that the early horse was here in great numbers la the Pleistocene time. j:st as he was in Klirope. but s i thereafter he became extinct here, or nearly so. due to the great lea sheet of the glacial age which swept the northern part of the new world lean of nearly all animal life. Some scientist-- admit that the Pleistocene bene might have lingered in Texas or some southern part of .North America tin I i 1 the coming of the white man, but then- is no proof of it. and others hold that the early Spaniards brought the horse along and thus established the animal on its native heath. That part is a puzzle, but we do know that from North America the early horses journeyed to Northern Kurope. across the onco-cxMing land bridge of the Par North, stocking that eoutinenl well before his kind hrraaar extinct here, ami he. or his progeny, following the receding of the great ice sheet, may have returned at an early date by the way lie eaate, and thaa have ••beaten the white men to it," so to speak. — Exchange.